Gimme Some Oven

The BEST Carrot Cake!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This truly is the best carrot cake recipe! It’s perfectly moist and delicious, made with lots of fresh carrots, and topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting.

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe

Oh hey. ♡ Just thought I would casually slide this recipe right here at the top of your feed in time for Easter. Because if you happen to be looking for the world’s best carrot cake recipe to make this weekend — or any delicious day of the year — look no further. Hundreds and hundreds of our readers have agreed over the years that this homemade carrot cake recipe is a hands-down winner!

I mean, I should admit right off that I will forever-and-always be on Team Carrot when it comes to my favorite kind of cake, so I am extra-partial to carrot cake in any form (including cupcakes or carrot cake bars). But because it’s my favorite, I hold extra high standards when it comes to exactly what constitutes the perfect slice.

First off, the perfect homemade carrot cake must always be fluffy and legit extra-moist — no dry cakes allowed.  It must also be made with the coziest warming spices, but just enough so that the flavor of all of those fresh carrots can shine through. And speaking of fresh carrots, a good carrot cake recipe must include lots of them speckled in every slice. Most importantly, though, a good carrot cake recipe must be accompanied with a rich and buttery cream cheese frosting in every single bite. Because in my book, a good moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the ultimate dessert match made in heaven.

The other good news about this recipe? It’s much easier to make than it looks. You can make the entire recipe — both cake and frosting — 100% by hand if you would like. (No mixer required.)  You can also save yourself a step and purchase store-bought grated carrots or grate them in the food processor, if you don’t want to grate them by hand. And if you’ve never made a three-layer cake before, have no fear — it’s easier than it looks, and I’ve added a brand new video below to walk you through each step of the way.

Alright, let’s make some carrot cake together!

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe | 1-Minute Video

The BEST Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Homemade Carrot Cake Ingredients:

Alright, let’s make our shopping list! To make this homemade carrot cake recipe, you will need:

  • Oil: Any mild-flavored oil will do. I typically use avocado oil, but vegetable or canola oil would work too.
  • Sugars: Both granulated (white) and brown sugar.
  • Eggs and vanilla extract: Because…cake.
  • Flour: I always indulge here with classic all-purpose flour. But you’re welcome to sub in white whole wheat flour instead.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: This recipe uses both.
  • Salt: I used fine sea salt. If you only have iodized (table) salt, I would recommend using a little less.
  • Freshly-grated carrots: Either grate them by hand with a box grater, use the shredding attachment on a food processor, or save yourself a step and buy them pre-grated.
  • (Optional add-ins): Feel free to also include chopped nuts (such as pecans or walnuts), shredded coconut, and/or raisins if you would like.
  • Cream cheese frosting: Made easily with cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla and powdered sugar.

Ingredient amounts and full instructions included in the recipe box below.

How To Make Carrot Cake

How To Make Carrot Cake:

To make this homemade carrot cake recipe, simply:

  1. Prep your baking pans. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. (Or save yourself a step and just use baking spray, which already includes flour.)
  2. Make the cake batter. Mix together the oil and sugars, followed by the eggs and vanilla, then the dry ingredients, and then the shredded carrots.
  3. Fill and bake. Portion the batter evenly into your three baking pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool on a wire baking rack until they reach room temperature. Meanwhile…
  4. Make the frosting.  See notes below.
  5. Assemble and frost the cake.  Once the cakes reach room temperature,* use a cake leveler or a bread knife to slice off the rounded tops of the cakes so that they are completely flat on top. Place the first cake on your serving platter, add a large scoop of frosting on top of it, and spread the frosting so that it covers the cake evenly and extends a bit over the edges. Repeat with the second and third layers of the cake. Then use the remainder of the frosting to frost all around the side edges of the cake.
  6. Serve and enjoy. Then once you’re ready to serve the cake, slice it up and enjoy!

*I find that it’s easier to frost the cakes when they are slightly chilled. So I recommend popping them in the fridge for 15 minutes before frosting if you have the time.

Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe

How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting:

This dreamy cream cheese frosting recipe can either be made by hand in a mixing bowl or in a stand mixer — you choose! Just be sure that both the cream cheese and butter are both room temperature. (And if you want your frosting to be super-smooth, I also recommend sifting the powdered sugar in advance.)

To make cream cheese frosting, simply stir the cream cheese and butter together with the vanilla until completely smooth. Then add in however much powdered sugar is needed to make the icing nice and firm. (You may need more/less powdered sugar than the recipe calls for.)

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Variations:

If you would like to customize your carrot cake, feel free to:

  • Add nuts: Feel free to stir 1/2 cup chopped nuts (such as pecans, walnuts, pepitas or hazelnuts) into the batter, and/or sprinkle extras on top of the frosting.
  • Add raisins: You could also stir in up to 1/4 cup of raisins.
  • Add coconut: Or up to 1/4 cup of toasted shredded coconut.
  • Spice the frosting: If you would like a bit of extra flavor in the frosting itself, I recommend stirring 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger into the frosting.
  • Make the recipe gluten-free and vegan: Use this recipe!

The Best Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe

More Carrot Recipes:

Looking for more delicious sweet carrot recipes? Here are a few of my faves! ♡

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe

The BEST Carrot Cake

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


This classic carrot cake recipe is moist, perfectly-spiced and made with lots of fresh carrots and a cream cheese frosting.



Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup avocado oil (or vegetable oil, or any mild-flavored oil)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pound finely-grated* fresh carrots
  • optional: 1 cup chopped nuts or 1/2 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 (8-ounce) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (or more, if needed to thicken)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.  (Or to save a step, you can coat them with baking spray, which already contains flour.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the egg mixture, and stir until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
  4. Portion the batter evenly into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.  Transfer the baking pans to a wire cooling rack and let the cakes cool until they reach room temperature.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined and smooth.  (You can either do this with a spatula, or with a hand or stand mixer.)  Gradually stir in the powdered sugar and mix until it is completely combined.  You want the frosting to be pretty firm for a 3-layer cake, so add more/less powdered sugar as needed to reach the correct consistency.
  6. Once the cakes reach room temperature,* use a cake leveler or a bread knife to slice off the rounded tops of the cakes so that they are completely flat on top.  Place the first cake on your serving platter, add a large scoop of frosting on top of it, and spread the frosting so that it covers the cake evenly and extends a bit over the edges.  Repeat with the second and third layers of the cake.  Then use the remainder of the frosting to frost all around the side edges of the cake.
  7. Once you’re ready to serve the cake, slice it up and enjoy!  Or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


*You can either grate fresh carrots by hand with a box grater, or grate them with a food processor by using the shredding disk.

*I find that it’s easier to frost the cakes when they are slightly chilled.  So I recommend popping them in the fridge for 15 minutes before frosting if you have the time.

Recipe instructions updated (with no ingredient changes) in April 2019.

This post contains affiliate links.

The BEST Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

1,116 comments on “The BEST Carrot Cake!”

1 7 8 9 10 11 15
  1. hi! i would love to make this cake (carrot cake is my favourite) i’ll try this recipe.  the thing is i only have 10″ cake pan , is it ok if i use it for this recipe?  the temperature and time will be the same? thank you!

    • Hi Diane! You will need two 10″ pans for this, as there is too much batter for just one 10″ pan. The temperature will be the same, and the bake time may differ by a few minutes, but should be relatively the same. We’d recommend setting your timer for 20 minutes and then checking. If they aren’t done (they likely won’t be), just set the timer for 5 more min and keep checking at 5 min intervals until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean. We hope this helps and that you enjoy the cake!

  2. I LOVE THIS CAKE! It is my husband’s VERY favorite thing I make – but we have no self control and can’t have a whole huge cake in the house or we will eat it all. I was dreaming of cake and realized that this recipe divides by three pretty easily. Divided both cake and frosting recipe by 3 and made one 9 inch round, cut in fourths, frosted and stacked it. Voila! One quarter of a giant cake. Thank you thank you thank you for your cake recipe badassery.

    • Thank you, Anna, we’re so happy you guys are fans! And we’re glad you were able to divide it by three with good results! :D

  3. I made this cake the other night and it was delicious. My husband loved it! Thank you for this great recipe!

  4. this was a big hit for my bake sale thanks so much truly sticking to this carrot cake super moist and even better the next day thank you for such a great cake recipe

  5. I’ve made this twice in the last 2 weeks – absolutely delish!!!!

  6. This might be a dumb question but is the flour supposed to be self rising, all purpose, cake flour?? I never know 

  7. I was planning on making this cake for Easter in a cross shaped pan, which is 14″ by 1″. Do you know if I would have to alter the bake time or oven temperature?

    • Hi Lauren, we’re so sorry we didn’t get to your comment in time! You will likely have batter left over, just FYI, and you may not need to bake for quite as long (we’d just keep a close eye on it). The temp will still be the same.

  8. My husband is allergic to tree nuts. Can I use something else in place of the nutmeg or just leave it out?

    • Hi Mary! You can just leave it out (you can add some cardamom or extra cinnamon in its place if you like). We hope you enjoy!

  9. I don’t have time to grate…so I bought a bag of pre shredded…will it be awful??? They aren’t finely grated- definitely on the thicker side- 

    • We’re worried those will be too thick, Karen, but we hope this still turned out okay for you!

  10. This cake is amazing!! Made it for my daughter’s baptism and everyone loved it. Trying it out as cupcakes today for Easter.

  11. I loved the flavor of this cake and the cool new tools i got to use (the grinding attachment on my food processor has changed my kitchen), and the frosting is perfect. I am wondering if you have had success in using coconut flour. I am diabetic and have not been able to bake since I’ve been diagnosed, which was heart breaking, but upon doing research I have found some great substitutes for baking (Stevia being one for sugar) but have not mastered the art of using alternative flour. Any suggestions as tho the substitution amounts?

    • Thanks, Victoria, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! We haven’t tried using coconut flour with this though. We do have a vegan, gluten-free carrot cake recipe though. You could experiment with some coconut flour in that one if you wanted! And we’re so sorry about your diagnosis :( Since we’re not health professionals though, and since we don’t aren’t well-versed in baking with Stevia, we don’t feel like we’re able to/comfortable advising you on that end. There are some baking blogs out there that are all about baking with Stevia or other similar non-sugar sweeteners. We hope this helps!

  12. Fantastic recipe – I made it twice in the last 3 days for different family functions.  Everyone who ate it loved it (even the ones who don’t like carrot cake)!  Thank you!  
    FYI I followed the recipe exactly and added in the optional nuts but not the optional raisins

  13. Hi! The cake turned out great, light and fluffy and very flavorful, BUT, it tastes slightly salty. I followed the recipe to a T but don’t know what went wrong. ?

    • Thanks, we’re glad you enjoyed it! As for the salt, that’s odd. What kind of salt did you use?

  14. I made this for dessert after Easter dinner and it was delicious!  So easy to make and everybody loved it.  I’m definitely adding this one to my collection.
    Thanks for the recipe
    Ps -it’s even better the next day with a cup of tea for breakfast ?

  15. I LOVE this cake and have made it several times. Always a hit! I made it today with the avocado oil suggestion and it definitely has a different taste to it. It’s not as sweet for some reason. I’ll keep making the cake, but will stick to the vegetable oil from now on.

  16. This cake is really, really, really good!!!  I searched Pinterest for recipes and so glad I chose yours to make. . . It is the BEST carrot cake ever!  I sprinkle chopped pecans over the top after I frosted….couldn’t resist.   Thanks for sharing!

  17. I am a beginner baker so I don’t own a stand mixer can I mix the ingredients by hand?

    • Hi Angelica! You can try, but for best results, you really want to use a mixer (it doesn’t have to be a stand mixer, a hand-held mixer will work just fine — just make sure your bowl is large enough)! :)

  18. Okay, I’ll be the one to say it.. who is this cake supposed to feed?!? It was absolutely delicious, but oh my word this is the largest cake I’ve made in my life! The frosting recipe was up to the rim of my mixing bowl and I immediately cut the cake in half and froze half of it for a later date. As I said, the recipe is fantastic but I will definitely cut the recipe down to 2/3 next time I make it. This carrot cake was fit for Paul Bunyan… I am still laughing about the size and I made it last night. 

  19. Hi. Can I use either a 10″ or 12″ tin. Just one then do my own layers?

    • Hi Ann! Yes, you can, we’re just not sure how many layers you will get — two thinner layers from the 10″ and probably just one from the 12″. We hope you enjoy the cake!

  20. Hi, is there a link for this recipe for UK??

  21. I’m going to make this for my son-in-law’s birthday cuz carrot cake is his favorite. I plan to use cream cheese frosting for the filling, but I’m going to frost the outside in buttercream with a galaxy look. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    For those folks saying they have left over cream cheese frosting, may I suggest making some cinnamon rolls? I love having extra cream cheese frosting for home made cinnamon rolls. Works really well with the refrigerator dough ones too!

    • We hope it’s a hit, Wanda! And we love your idea of saving any leftover cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls (yum)! :)

    • Update! I just finished baking the cake and it turned out wonderful! I am making a 6″ top tier using this carrot cake recipe and an 8″ bottom tier in chocolate fudge. I baked two 6″ cake pans of the carrot cake and had enough batter left for 18 cupcakes. Can hardly wait to put the cake together for the birthday party!

    • Thanks for sharing, Wanda, we’re so glad it came out well! :)

  22. I was wondering if I could add crushed pineapple?

    • Hi Pam! Yes, we think you would probably be fine to add a 15oz can of crushed pineapple (drained) — we would recommend gently folding it into the batter. We hope this helps!

  23. I live at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level should I alter the time temp ingredients at all

  24. Hi Ali! I made this carrot cake once and everyone loooved it! I’ve had to make a few times more over in the past few months and everyone keeps asking for the receipe. I’m starting my YouTube channel and as a petition, I want to share your receipe. I will of course mention the receipe is yours and add the link to your blog in the description box. It this ok? My tiny you tube channel is in Spanish. Thank you so very much!

    • Thanks for sharing, Debbie, we’re so glad to hear that! And of course, we’d love it if you mentioned the recipe and credited it and linked back to the blog, thank you! And we think it’s so cool that it’s in Spanish! :)

  25. This cake was amazing, a crowd favorite. Can I use the same recipe to make cupcakes??

    • Thank you, Kelly, we’re so glad to hear that! And you can totally make cupcakes out of these, but you’ll definitely need to cut the recipe in half (even cutting it in half will probably make more than 24). We’d suggest setting the timer for 10 minutes (though these might need 15 minutes or longer) — just keep an eye on them and test for doneness with a toothpick. We hope this helps!

  26. Hi! I would like to know how many oz, pounds or grams are in the oil, flour and the sugar,brown sugar and confectioners sugar cup! Thank you

    • Hi Rocio! You can use this website here to do those conversions. We hope you enjoy the cake! :)

  27. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!? Best carrot cake EVER! Moist, delicious, not too sweet. A real crowd pleaser. Making it this weekend for the second time. Thank you!!!!!

    • Wow, thank you so much, Morgan! We’re thrilled that you loved it! :)

  28. HI! Cake was great but the edges were hard, so I am trying it again with canola oil instead of avocado oil. Any ideas? Also I felt 5 cups for the icing were more ideal than 6! It was pretty sweet! some lemon zest or orange zest in the icing is also a really nice touch! Thank you!

    • Hi Jenni, thanks for giving us your feedback! Hmm, we’re not sure why the edges were hard. Did it bake a little too long? We also haven’t tried this with avocado oil. We think lemon or orange zest in the icing would be fantastic!

  29. Can you tell me if you use Self Raising Flour for this recipe or is it plain? Also, I have a fan oven, what would the temperature be for that? Would it be OK if I used grated carrot that has been frozen?

    • Hi Ann! We used regular all-purpose flour for this. You’ll want to bake the cake at 325 instead of 350. We think you could use grated carrot that was previously frozen (just as long as it’s thawed and not watery). We hope this helps and that you enjoy the cake!

    • Frozen carrots would probably be pretty watery so I would suggest taking them out the day before baking and wringing in a tea towel and letting them sit 10 minutes, making sure they’re not soaked.

  30. I have made this cake 5 times in the last two years and my family loves it. This will be my dads 3rd birthday he has requested it. Thank you

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Jen, we’re so happy you and your family love it! :D

  31. Hi!! Please I would like to know if you use the flat mixer for the frosty also?? Thank u!

    • We’re not sure we understand your question. What frosty are you referring to?

    • You can use use either your flat beater or your whisk attachment for your frosting. The whisk will make it lighter and fluffier, easier to spread as well.

  32. Simply amazing cake! The texture and the aroma are incredible! I make twice!

  33. Can I use sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil?

  34. This was my first time making this and it was amazing! Sometimes when I read comments on recipes I’m a bit wary of them but honestly this is fool proof! I added some pistachio to my cake mix and for the icing I used a little less butter as I’m not a huge fan of the taste :)

  35. OMG– this was amazing. I am NOT a good baker so when my husband requested carrot cake for Father’s Day I was a bit intimidated. I followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfectly. Yes, there was a bit too much icing but I added some food dye (separating into two bowls of green and orange) and used it to decorate. If I can make a cake this delicious it has to be a great recipe!

    • Thank you, Georgette, we’re so happy you and your husband loved it! :)

  36. I have tried recipe before and LOVED it. Do you think it could be make in a mini budnt cake pan?

    • We’re glad to hear that, Maria! We haven’t tried this in a bundt pan, but it would be WAY too much batter for a regular-sized bundt pan, let alone a mini one. You’d definitely want to cut the recipe in half, but you’ll still have some extra batter (you could always use it to make cupcakes though)! Also, this cake freezes beautifully. :)

  37. I made this cake for my mom’s 84th birthday today…. it is truly amazing! This is a keeper!

  38. Love love love! I was making a last minute birthday cake for my sister(who refuses to eat anything too sugary and unhealthy), and this recipe saved me! Carrot cake is the perfect balance of health and sugar, making everyone happy. The cake came out perfectly and I could not have been happier! :)

    • Thanks, Hanna, we’re so happy to hear that, thanks for giving it a try! :)

  39. I never leave reviews (I probably should because the first thing I do is look at people’s review on the recipe) but this is hands down the best carrot cake I ever made! And the people I made it for said the same thing… BEST carrot cake they ever had! You don’t need to alter any of the recipe it’s perfect!

    • Wow, thank you so much, Julie! We’re happy you loved this and that it was a hit with folks! :)

  40. Just made this tonight. I can comfortably say that this is one of the best cakes I have ever made. Recipe is so easy to follow and soooo good. This is definitely a keeper!

    • Thank you so much, Jen, that’s such a sweet compliment and we’re happy you loved it!

  41. My husband is a picky eater and is very hard to please, especially when it comes to cake! After he finished his cake, he put his fork down, and said, “I think that was the best piece of carrot cake I’ve ever had.” And that was after being disappointed that I couldn’t find any Costco carrot cake, which was his favorite. :) This cake rocks!

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Abbie, we’re so happy you and your husband loved this! :D

  42. This is really just the best carrot cake recipe I’ve ever tasted. A highlight at my office and with parties. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Wow, thank you so much, Miranda — we’re thrilled to hear you love it and that it’s been a hit with folks!

  43. This cake is simply marvellous.
    I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday, followed the recipe precisely (with chopped walnuts) and it was plain heaven. It tastes better than any Starbucks carrot cake, (which I also find very very good) and the consistency of the cake is perfect. Same goes for the wonderful frosting.

    Everyone adored it.

    Thank you for sharing with us this recipe!!!

  44. I made this gluten free the only alteration to the cake is namaste flour im place of regular AP flour and i did 24 cupcakes insteads. However the frosting I wish I would have stoped at 4cups powder sugar I really like the cream cheese flavor the 6 cups made it taste like store bought frosting. Overall wonderful job loved the recipe!

  45. I made this for my Mothers birthday and it is the BEST Carrot Cane I’ve ever eaten.

  46. Great recipe!

  47. Excellent directions and proportions. The cake came out delicious and perfect! I’ve used Pinterest for years now, but was never this impressed. Thank you gimmisomeoven, you made my husband’s birthday even greater!

  48. Yes I made this recipe the cake was super moist. I had to use a liquid sugar mixture (1/4 cup of milk, teaspoon of powered sugar, a teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/4 teapoon of vanilla, pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of ground clove) to pull the flavor of the cake out. I poked holes in the cake took a spoon spread the liquid sugar throughout the layers. The cake was amazing. I only rated it 4 stars because of the the liquid sugar factor.

  49. Very good texture but I could taste the raising agents. Will try this again with less baking powder and baking soda

  50. This carrot cake is so delicious I made it for my husband and I for our wedding! Perfect texture, stacked well and was a huge hit! I used the cream cheese frosting to crumb coat and a buttercream fondant to top it off.